I had the most harrowing experience of my not-so-young life today. When I was driving to visit my mother I thought it sounded as though my tire was flat so I got out and looked at it, but there was no problem with my tire. So, I got back in and drove the rest of the way to mom's house and drove around the city where she lives without thinking about it again.
On the drive home though the sound returned, only this time it sounded more like transmission trouble. I called mrangelmeg on my cell phone and told him about the noise, and he and I discussed the situation and decided since the car seemed to be drivable I should attempt to drive it back to our mechanic at home.
When I was about a block from the mechanic's place, on a very busy street, someone motioned to me to roll down my window and told me that my tire was in bad shape, so I pulled off into a church parking lot. After calling mrangelmeg we decided that rather than try to drive it the last block, he would call a tow truck to come and get me and tow the car to our mechanic's shop.
When the wrecker got there and I explained the situation to the operator he took a look at the tire and said that for sure it was a problem with the tire. He pulled off the lug cap and three of the lugs (stem and all) fell off onto the pavement) another came off in his hand leaving only one holding the tire onto the car. At this point I was about to pass out.
He asked if I had had any tire work done recently and I said that yes I had had the tire repaired in January. He said that he wasn't sure but he thought that the tire had been put on the car improperly. To think I have been driving it since January and all that time it had been working its way breaking the lug stems right off the tire one at a time.
I must have some really great guardian angel coverage today. I didn't just have one guardian angel, I had the multitude of heavenly host looking out for me on the drive home. That last lug could have snapped at any time and I would have been tireless.
Thanks to my heavenly protectors, and the great wrecker driver, and the people who work at our mechanic's shop. I am home safe and sound. They are going to see what happened to the tire, fix it and then we will decide if we need to go after the place that did the tire work back in January. Right now all I can think about is how blessed I am. Miracles do happen.
Update: I got my car back from our mechanic and he agrees that under the circumstances he can't figure out how I could have driven the car. He says with the lug nuts out so far on the stud there is no way that I should have been able to keep control of the car at any speed. He said that he had never seen anything like that before. Luckily there was no damage to the tire at all, and everything has been replaced and they double and triple checked the tightness of the lug nuts, not just on that tire, but on all the other tires, just to be sure. That is why we always use that mechanic.